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Cloud Computing

Amazon Putting Billions in German Cloud Centers

The online retail colossus is making massive investments in both western and eastern Germany to expand its Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

Amazon has announced plans to put a further EUR 10 billion into its German operations, taking its total investment in Europe’s largest economy since 2010 to EUR 77 billion.

The lion’s share of the new money will be used to bolster the cloud service AWS in Germany’s western Rhine-Main region. 

That follows upon news that AWS will spend up to EUR 7.8 billion between now and 2040 in the eastern region of Brandenburg. That investment creates a so-called sovereign computing cloud that will meet the strict data-protection standards in Europe. Sovereignty is an especially important criterium for users in the public sector and areas like health and finance.

“Germany is known for its strict data protection laws, which have been further strengthened by the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation),” writes France-based Orange Business on its website. “A sovereign cloud that operates according to German data protection standards offers companies a level of legal security that is difficult to achieve when using cloud services outside the EU. Compliance with the GDPR is significantly simplified as data is processed and stored within the legal borders of the EU.”

The AWS project makes the eastern state of Brandenburg and the greater Berlin region a second German cloud computing hub along with the country’s financial center, Frankfurt. Amazon says that this business investment will add EUR 17.2 billion to German GDP by the end of the coming decade.

“With its proximity to the government in Berlin, Brandenburg is a logical choice,” cloud computing consultant Rene Beust told German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

“There are two aspects of this project I would highlight,” says Germany Trade & Invest CEO Robert Hermann. “First, it shows that Germany’s emphasis on data protection and security is an advantage for the country as a business location. And secondly, the project is another instance of a big international company taking advantage of qualities offered by the eastern part of Germany.”

Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action says that Amazon is not receiving any state subsidies.

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